The number of vehicle crashes investigated by state police that were linked to marijuana nearly doubled from 2017 to 2018, and the number of violations related to pot jumped nearly 40-percent.
Virginia and D.C. don’t keep data that distinguishes whether drivers were impaired by marijuana or alcohol, but D.C. police records show a nearly 10 percent increase in impaired driving arrests between 2017 and 2018.
The NBC report included information from Colorado, where marijuana was decriminalized in 2013.
“We saw about a 74 percent increase in fatal crashes, between 2013 and now,” said Aurora, Colorado police officer Kevin Deichsel. “And marijuana has been a part of that.”
Mary Gaston’s son was struck and killed by a driver who was under the influence of medicinal marijuana.
“In my view there’s a perception that marijuana does not impair you, like alcohol does,” Gaston said. “That’s not true — you are impaired.”
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has told Congress it is working on ways to better measure impairment caused by marijuana, since portable breath tests and ignition interlock devices do not detect marijuana.
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